Leo just won an Oscar. Now's your time to shine.
The Oscars are just behind us, and it's a good opportunity to remind ourselves that what we're doing here is actually not that far from what those Hollywood cats are doing. Well, maybe not in the sense of getting super awesome gift bags just for attending an event, but it's exactly the same when considering the main thing that Hollywood actually does - telling stories.
When we watch a movie, we usually feel right away if we like it or not. If the story is right, it would be a wonderful experience of suspending our disbelief and diving into a world someone created just for us. If the story is told poorly (and I'm sure you can think of many, many examples for when that happened!), our mind will start wondering, and the hand will reach out to our smartphones, in a desperate search for an alternative story to save us.
So what does all this have to do with us? It all relays on the fundamental truth that we are storytellers, just like them, and that stories (no matter in which media) are all based on the same basic principles. You need an intro, can be one minute (Kramer vs. Kramer) or 30 minutes (Rocky), you need a hook (something that will set your story into motion and give your audience something to care about), you need complications (for us it's about the examples we use to prove that the pain we're here to solve is real - and what's better than getting your audience to visualize themselves experiencing those pains while your story unfolds?), and you need a solution (your product).
And just like not too many movies start with giving away the ending (Fuck off, Memento fans, you know what I'm talking about!) right at the very beginning, our own story has to build up to our product/solution as its climax as well.
First we need to capture the audience. Make them care. Make them want to know what we're going to say next.
Think about Steve Jobs for a second. Or any other great speaker you respect - what they did when they were on stage was just as scripted as "Spotlight". The famous "oh, and one last thing" phrase was a perfect example for how to keep your audience engaged with your story until the very last minute; While it's not recommended to copy that exact Technic, it's more than recommended to learn from it. And fuck the whole "But this was Steve Jobs you're talking about, one of the best public speakers and marketers the world has known lately" - he was, in the end, just a man, raised to greatness by his audience. How did he got there? by telling a great story. That's mainly it.
This post is coming dangerously close to be as long as the Oscars night, so I'll stop here with a thought - we all know to recognize a great story when we are on the receiving end. Maybe it's time we start using the Technics that worked on us as an audience to build our own story?..
It beats using the same old, boring "product story" cliche every time. Believe me. Or forget me - just give it a try, and see what your audience has to say.